Tam Tak-chi, Hong Kong Opposition Candidate, Arrested

  • The 47 year-old Tam is vice president of the People Power Party, and a former radio host.
  • Tam says his charges relate to an incident in January, where he cursed the police and chanted "illegal" slogans.
  • Despite widespread condemnation of the controversial security law, China, through Lam, has always insisted that the national security law is necessary.

Hong Kong police arrested a pro-democracy activist, Tam Tak-chi, a candidate in the region’s September Legislative Council elections. The former radio host and activist has been slammed with a number of charges, including incitement to participate in an unlawful assembly.

Tam Tak-chi is a former Hong Kong radio presenter, actor and currently a social activist. He is currently the vice chairman of the radical democratic party People Power.

The 47 year-old Tam is vice president of the People Power party, and a former radio host. He won the unofficial primaries, organized by the opposition, on 11 and 12 July to select candidates for the Hong Kong Legislative Council elections, which are scheduled for September 6th.

On 13 July, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, an appointee of Beijing lamented that the “so-called primary elections” held by the opposition camp may be contrary to the National Security Law for Hong Kong.

Lam said the “election” wasn’t part of Hong Kong’s political system, adding the government will take action if there is sufficient evidence to do so after an investigation. She added that the city government had already launched an investigation and, if necessary, will take the necessary actions to punish those responsible. 

The Hong Kong Liaison Office, which connects the Beijing government to the island, expressed support for the Lam government initiative, condemned the illegality of the primaries, and reiterated that they could be considered a subversive act.

According to the Chief Executive, the primary objective was to choose candidates who can guarantee the opposition to obtain over 35 seats out of the 70 present in the city’s Legislative Council, to oppose and resist any policy and initiative of the majority. As a result, the primaries could be considered an attempt of subversion against the state authority, considered a crime by the new national security law.

However, Tam Tak-chi said that his accusations do not refer to that legislation. Police said the accusation against the candidate related to events that occurred in January when the man cursed the police and shouted “Free Hong Kong! The revolution of our times! ” The government declared that slogan illegal earlier this month, in as far as the new national security law is concerned. 

The Hong Kong national security law is a decision adopted by the third session of the thirteenth National People’s Congress, to authorize the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) to promulgate a national security law in Hong Kong. The pan-democratic camp, human rights organisations and politicians abroad have criticised the decision as a threat to the “one country, two systems” principle, the rule of law and civil liberties.

On June 30, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the body that nominally holds the legislative power of the People’s Republic of China, approved the “Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China for the protection of national security.”

The law came into force from midnight on the following day, July 1st. With this law, that which Beijing called secessionist and subversive movements, foreign interference, and acts of terrorism were prohibited. The National Security Safeguard Commission was also established, which provides for the use of law enforcement officials reporting to the central government of Beijing.

Despite widespread condemnation of the controversial security law, China, through Lam, has always insisted that the national security law is a perfect document, contrary to the opinion by the majority.

Appearing before the United Nations via video conference last month, Lam implored the international community to respect China’s right to safeguard national security as well as Hong Kong people’s aspirations for stability and harmony. As Lam said:

“The legislation aims to prevent, curb and punish acts of cessation, subversion of state power, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security. These crimes will be clearly defined in the law. We will only target an extremely small minority of people who have breached the law, while the life and property, basic rights and freedoms of the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents will be protected.” She added.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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